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Wikipedia states that "The term GRIND LINE refers to a former forward line for the National Hockey League's Detroit Red Wings. The line was effective in 'grinding' and wearing the opposition's top scoring line by enforcing presence." As a die-hard Detroit sports fan, I enjoyed watching the famed "Grind Line" get after it and win four Stanley Cup hockey championships. 

Every sales organization needs a "grind line." They are the people that will consistently do the daily dirty work of persistent prospecting. They are willing to serve as well as sell. Month in month out, they "grind it out." They consistently contribute. They don't always win the annual sales trip, but their sales revenue is reliable and recurring. No glamor or glitz. They just grind it out day in, day out. 
German philosopher, Nietzsche said, "Great things are accomplished by those people whose thinking is active in one direction...who take more pleasure in doing little, secondary things well."
Sociologist, Dan Chambliss says, "superlative performance is really a confluence of dozens of small skills or activities. There is nothing extraordinary or superhuman in any one of these actions; only that they are done consistently and correctly. All of them together produce excellence." 
In her book Grit, The Power of Passion and Perseverance Angela Duckworth gives several great examples of how doing ordinary things often leads to extraordinary results.
  • Award winning novelist John Irving stated, "I have come to appreciate that in doing something over and over again, something that was never natural becomes almost second nature."
  • Celebrated potter, Warren MacKenzie, succinctly summarized his success by saying, "the first 10,000 pots are difficult, and then it gets a bit easier." 

Duckworth says, "Talent absolutely matters but effort factors into calculations (achievement) twice."

We too often get mesmerized by miracle "month-end" sales performance. I'll take the get after it, grind it out, and "go the distance" consistent contributor. The next time you interview for top talent, talk less about sales trophies and more about sales tenacity and toughness. Are they coachable? Are they consistent? Will they grind it out during pandemics as well as peak selling seasons?

It turns out Daymond John's is right. The way to outperform others is to outwork and outhustle them. Or, as he would say, "Rise and Grind."

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Topics: #Grinditout, #saleshustle, #relentless

Dan Whitfield

Written by Dan Whitfield

Dan is dedicated to "coaching up" leaders of growth-oriented non-profits and cause-driven organizations. His goal is to help you gain and retain new donors.